An old proverb once said, “Every oak starts as an acorn.”

From modern songs to ancient parables, oak trees are presented as strong, resilient, and long-lived. To the Greeks and Romans, oak trees were among the most revered, with kings and commanders wearing the tree’s leaves in crowns to celebrate military victories.

Oaks are also known for their height and thick canopies, helping them stick out in even the densest forests. Its striking color and strong grain have made it a beautiful and practical choice for everything from furniture and flooring to structural supports in ship hulls and decking.

Kris-Tech is a lot like an oak tree. From humble beginnings, the acorn of an idea to start a people-focused wire company grew. As decades passed and other companies faltered or shrunk, Kris-Tech kept expanding, reaching its branches toward the sky.

Today, looking back on 40 successful years, it’s impossible to not be proud of how far we’ve come.

Humble Beginnings

In August 1984, Glenn and Gerry Brodock were recent retirees who had spent decades working in the copper wire industry.

“My grandfather, Gerry, and his twin brother, Glenn, fought in World War II,” Kris-Tech President and CEO Graham Brodock said. “Gerry was a Marine pilot and Glenn was a Navy seaman. Upon return, they settled in their hometown of Rome and graduated from Utica College on the GI Bill. Soon after, Glenn started his career on a fork truck at Rome Cable, eventually retiring as its President. Gerry began his job across town at Revere Copper and Brass, climbing the ladder to eventually run Industrial Relations for the entire organization. Quite the American Dream.”

As the brothers settled into retirement, boredom kicked in, prompting them to take on their biggest challenge to date: starting a new people-focused copper wire company in the heart of the Copper City.

“I think they dabbled around with a couple ideas and ultimately settled on starting a wire company,” Brodock explained. “Subsequently, it became Kris-Tech Wire.” 
The fledgling company began with a couple small accounts, but started gaining speed after the arrival of Gerry’s son, Jon. 
“My dad showed up a couple years later and really, under his leadership, grew our small business into a much larger one with hundreds of accounts over his 28-year career,” Brodock said. “All of this was done over at 921 Seneca St., a small 22,000 square foot facility. We squeezed every ounce of productivity out of that facility but knew if we wanted to grow the business beyond my dad’s contributions, we needed to build a new facility. That’s what we endeavored to do when we moved into our current location in 2016.”

Kris-Tech Wire Exterior - Smaller JPG 06.24.24

What began on Seneca St. with a couple of extruders, respool lines, and bunchers has flourished into a much larger operation. The company has grown rapidly, adding dozens of employees, machines, and even a newly completed expansion facility. Kris-Tech has also branched out from its Upstate New York roots, opening a second warehousing facility in Houston, TX.

Like the mighty oak, the company is reaching new heights, expanding its canopy in every direction. But like the tree, Kris-Tech is only as strong as its roots – its people. 

Built on People 

What Gerry and Glenn Brodock set out to do in August 1984 was create a business that respected its people as much as its products and processes. 
Throughout the years, “respect for people” became a mantra of sorts and the trunk of Kris-Tech’s mighty oak tree. For 40 years, respecting people has meant treating employees well, considering them in every decision, and never leaving them – or their families – behind.  
“We’ve evolved and developed the simple idea over the years, and today it embodies the five values we call the Kris-Tech Way,” Brodock explained. “We win together. We lead by example. We are committed to excellence. We build trusted relationships. We learn and grow. These statements, and the natural truths embodied within them, are our North Star.”

Throughout the years, hundreds of people have called Kris-Tech home, manufacturing dozens of products across several industries, including renewable energy, industrial applications, and electrical transmission. Their excitement and passion create a flywheel effect Brodock feeds off.

“I continually draw from their excitement, exploring and challenging what we’re capable of here,” Brodock said. “I don’t think we’ve really seen anything yet, and that’s what motivates, excites, and impresses me as a leader here at the company. It’s not the revenue, the profit, or the product lines, though they’re critical. It’s about having a stable and powerful business model accelerated, enhanced, and facilitated by our greatest asset – people.” 
The company has seen its fair share of ups and downs since 1984, but the unshakable and unrelenting promise of “respect for people” has endured. It’s not only the basis for Kris-Tech’s unwavering success, but key to charting a unique and positive path toward the future. 

A Brave New World 

Time doesn’t allow things to stand still. Even the mightiest of oak trees needs to bear seeds to keep its legacy alive.

Kris-Tech is no stranger to change, and is constantly reinventing itself to meet customers where they are. Copper demand isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, and as the industry pivots to meet increasing need, Brodock says Kris-Tech will be right there on the front lines.

“I think the future for people in our space is bright,” Brodock explained. “If managed well, I’m extremely excited about the next several years where demand for copper and copper-related products is set to double over the next decade and a half. Reshoring and reindustrialization, and electrification throughout the U.S. will all require a lot of our products, and the people to support them.” 
And, as has been the case for the last 40 years, people will still come first. 
“We were built by our people, with our people, and for our people,” Brodock said. “It’ll stay that way for years to come.”

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